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Technical Paper

Chemical Analysis of Potable Water and Humidity Condensate: Phase One Final Results and Lessons Learned

Twenty-nine recycled water, eight stored (ground-supplied) water, and twenty-eight humidity condensate samples were collected on board the Mir Space Station during the Phase One Program (1995-1998). These samples were analyzed to determine potability of the recycled and ground-supplied water, to support the development of water quality monitoring procedures and standards, and to assist in the development of water reclamation hardware. This paper describes and summarizes the results of these analyses and lists the lessons learned from this project. Results show that the recycled water and stored water on board Mir, in general, met NASA, Russian Space Agency (RSA), and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards.
Technical Paper

Chemical Analysis and Water Recovery Testing of Shuttle-Mir Humidity Condensate

Humidity condensate collected and processed in-flight is an important component of a space station drinking water supply. Water recovery systems in general are designed to handle finite concentrations of specific chemical components. Previous analyses of condensate derived from spacecraft and ground sources showed considerable variation in composition. Consequently, an investigation was conducted to collect condensate on the Shuttle while the vehicle was docked to Mir, and return the condensate to Earth for testing. This scenario emulates an early ISS configuration during a Shuttle docking, because the atmospheres intermix during docking and the condensate composition should reflect that. During the STS-89 and STS-91 flights, a total volume of 50 liters of condensate was collected and returned. Inorganic and organic chemical analyses were performed on aliquots of the fluid.
Technical Paper

Cascade Distillation Subsystem Development Testing

Recovery of potable water from wastewater is essential for the success of long-term manned missions to the moon and Mars. Honeywell International and the team consisting of Thermodistillation Company (Kyiv, Ukraine) and NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) Crew and Thermal Systems Division are developing a wastewater processing subsystem that is based on centrifugal vacuum distillation. The Wastewater Processing Cascade Distillation Subsystem (CDS) utilizes an innovative and efficient multi-stage thermodynamic process to produce purified water. The rotary centrifugal design of the system also provides gas/liquid phase separation and liquid transport under microgravity conditions. A five-stage prototype of the subsystem was built, delivered and integrated into the NASA JSC Advanced Water Recovery Systems Development Facility for development testing.
Technical Paper

Biofilm Formation and Control in a Simulated Spacecraft Water System: Three Year Results

Two simulated spacecraft water systems are being used to evaluate the effectiveness of iodine for controlling microbial contamination within such systems. An iodine concentration of about 2.0 mg/L is maintained in one system by passing ultrapure water through an iodinated ion exchange resin. Stainless steel coupons with electropolished and mechanically-polished sides are being used to monitor biofilm formation. Results after three years of operation show a single episode of significant bacterial growth in the iodinated system when the iodine level dropped to 1.9 mg/L. This growth was apparently controlled by replacing the iodinated ion exchange resin, thereby increasing the iodine level. The second batch of resin has remained effective in controlling microbial growth down to an iodine level of 1.0 mg/L. Scanning electron microscopy indicates that the iodine has impeded but may have not completely eliminated the formation of biofilm.
Technical Paper

An Advanced Carbon Reactor Subsystem for Carbon Dioxide Reduction

Reduction of metabolic carbon dioxide is one of the essential steps in physiochemical air revitalization for long-duration manned space missions. Under contract with NASA Johnson Space Center, Hamilton Standard is developing an Advanced Carbon Reactor Subsystem (ACRS) to produce water and dense solid carbon from carbon dioxide and hydrogen. The ACRS essentially consists of a Sabatier Methanation Reactor (SMR) to reduce carbon dioxide with hydrogen to methane and water, a gas-liquid separator to remove product water from the methane, and a Carbon Formation Reactor (CFR) to pyrolyze methane to carbon and hydrogen. The hydrogen is recycled to the SMR, while the produce carbon is periodically removed from the CFR. The SMR is well-developed, while the CFR is under development. In this paper, the fundamentals of the SMR and CFR processes are presented and results of Breadboard CFR testing are reported.
Technical Paper

Advanced Life Support Sizing Analysis Tool (ALSSAT) Using Microsoft® Excel

The development of an optimum regenerative Advanced Life Support (ALS) system for future Mars missions has been a crucial issue in the space industry. Considering the numerous potential technologies for subsystems with the complexity of the Air Revitalization System (ARS), Water Reclamation System (WRS), and Waste Management System of the Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS), it will be time-consuming and costly to determine the best combination of these technologies without a powerful sizing analysis tool. Johnson Space Center (JSC), therefore, initiated the development of ALSSAT using Microsoft® Excel for this purpose. ALSSAT has been developed based upon the ALS Requirement and Design Definition Document (Ref. 18). In 1999, a paper describing the development of ALSSAT with its built-in ARS mass balance model (Ref. 21) was published in ICES.
Technical Paper

A Total Organic Carbon Analyzer for Space Potable Water Systems

A Total Organic Carbon (TOC) Analyzer has been developed for a Life Sciences Risk Mitigation Flight Experiment to be conducted on Spacehab and the Russian space station, Mir. Initial launch is scheduled for December 1996 (flight STS-81). The analyzer will be tested on the Orbiter in the Spacehab module, including when the Orbiter is docked at the Mir space station. The analyzer is scheduled to be launched again in May 1997 (STS-84) when it will be transferred to Mir. During both flights the analyzer will measure the quality of recycled and ground-supplied potable water on the space station. Samples will be archived for later return to the ground, where they will be analyzed for comparison to in-flight results. Water test samples of known composition, brought up with the analyzer, also will be used to test its performance in microgravity. Ground-based analyses of duplicates of those test samples will be conducted concurrently with the in-flight analyses.
Technical Paper

A Test Plan for Sensitivity of Hollow Fiber Spacesuit Water Membrane Evaporator Systems to Potable Water Constituents, Contaminants and Air Bubbles

The Spacesuit Water Membrane Evaporator (SWME) is the baseline heat rejection technology selected for development for the Constellation lunar suit. The first SWME prototype, designed, built, and tested at Johnson Space Center in 1999 used a Teflon hydrophobic porous membrane sheet shaped into an annulus to provide cooling to the coolant loop through water evaporation to the vacuum of space. This present study describes the test methodology and planning to compare the test performance of three commercially available hollow fiber materials as alternatives to the sheet membrane prototype for SWME, in particular, a porous hydrophobic polypropylene, and two variants that employ ion exchange through non-porous hydrophilic modified Nafion. Contamination tests will be performed to probe for sensitivities of the candidate SWME elements to ordinary constituents that are expected to be found in the potable water provided by the vehicle, the target feedwater source.
Technical Paper

A High Efficiency Magnetic Activated Sludge Reactor for Wastewater Processing

Technologies for the recycling of water are a primary goal of NASA’s advanced life support programs. Biological processes have been identified as an attractive method for wastewater processing. A fundamental new bioreactor based on a traditional activated sludge process is demonstrated that treats hygiene wastewater using magnetic iron oxide particles agglomerated with microbial cells. In this bioreactor, microbes are suspended in magnetic flocs in a wastewater medium. Instead of a traditional gravity separator used in activated sludge operations, a magnetic separator removes the microbial flocs from the outlet stream. The reactor separation operates continuously, independent of gravitational influences. The reactor has been able to simultaneously remove 98% of high levels of both nitrogenous and organic carbon impurities from the wastewater as well as achieve acceptably low levels of total suspended solids.